Yugen is a profound sense of awe , even wonder, that can be said to be found from nature, driven by abstraction or incompleteness. In Japanese philosophy, Yugen is one of 9 aesthetic principles, stemming from Shinto Buddhism, that celebrates the imperfections, impermanence of life. As we look towards a new year, these cherished ideals are more heavily reflective in the mundane world around us. Yule , the celebration of the winter solstice greatly marks the transition of dark into light.
The longest night was sunday, December 21,2014; marking the time when the sun ends its descent and the new year of light waxes.
Bringing with it new hopes, one more revolution as we ready ourselves for new adventures and 365 more times to be the best versions of ourselves yet.
Wabi, meaning stark or natural beauty, and Sabi meaning natural aging and beauty of things in transient. These philosophies are echoed in the Kintsugi method of repairing cracked and broken pottery, rather than hide the flaws the crevices are filled with gold or copper to angradize the damages.
All of these aesthetics tell us that everything is in a constant state of flux, like waves rising and falling , in either evolution or dissolution, each wave comes not from nothingness but potentiality. Clouds drifting behind a mountain, away from sight is said to be Yugen.
Like abstract art, transcending us back even for a moment of this potentiality. The highest art and philosophy holds these ideals close to the hear.
Jackson Pollock, The Deep/ abstract
Like Alice Walker, author and poet, once mused; “If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for?”
I echo this, keep changing, growing evolving. Celebrate the imperfections, the impermanence, the incompleteness of the all, the everything. See beauty in all things around you. Be Wabi-Sabi, be Yugen. Be YOU! Happy Hollidays, Happy New Year!